LATAM Airlines, the largest airline conglomerate in South America, plans to launch flights to the Middle East by the end of 2018. LATAM Tel Aviv flights expected to be formally announced in the coming days, as the airline continues to strengthen its position in the transAtlantic market. The airline had announced flights to Boston, Lisbon and Rome. The airline will fuel the expansion with newly arriving 787s and A350s, which will complement the airlines sizeable 767 fleet.
What to Expect
The airline will fly the route from Santiago, Chile, to Tel Aviv. The flight will make a refueling stop in Sao Paulo, and be able to pick up passengers to Israel. LATAM will fly an A350 on the route, which has the airlines most current business class, as well as their improved economy class. The airline is still seeking regulatory approval, but they expect the first flight to take off by the end of 2018.
Why Tel Aviv?
LATAM Airlines has a strong network of flights throughout South America. There is a numerous population of diaspora Jews throughout Brazil, Argentina and Chile, and LATAM wants to capture this market flying to Israel. To aid the airline’s ultra long haul route, which are very hard to make profitable, LATAM should begin a codeshare with EL AL. They used to offer a codeshare partnership with EL AL on flight from Europe to Israel. The new flight would allow both passengers to connect via Tel Aviv to South America, if they re-staretd their codeshare. However, EL AL currently codeshares with Aerolineas Argentinas, a competitor to LATAM. EL AL recently launched flights to Miami, which is a focus city for LATAM.
I am interested in seeing what frequency LATAM will fly the route. It is a flight that I would have expected to be flown on a 787, given its smaller size. The 787 also has more reasonable fuel economy. LATAM has enough demand for the A350, it seems, which means it is a seriously underserved market. LATAM’s partnership with Qatar Airways may have them launching a flight to Doha to complement Qatar Airway’s current flight to Sao Paulo and Buenos Aires. I am curious to see how these two relationships work with LATAM, as I can see major benefits for all three carriers.
What do you think? Would you take LATAM’s flight from SCL-GRU-TLV? Have you flown their A350? What was your experience? Let us know!
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